United Methodist Women’s Leadership Training Event Starts New Conference Leaders to Action
by LEIGH ROGERS*
Newly elected Conference Officers for United Methodist Women met in St. Louis, Mo., to become more familiar with their specific responsibilities and increase their awareness of the work of United Methodist Women.
Leadership Training Event is considered the first step in training conference elected leaders, committees on nominations and language coordinators. The training provides the basic job responsibilities of conference leaders and focuses on the commitment to mission with women, children and youth that is the foundation of United Methodist Women.
Director of the Women's Division, Inelda Gonzalez. Photo courtesy of Felipe Castillo.
“We were all called with a purpose in mind … a cause to fulfill,” she said. “We weren’t saved for self’s sake, but for service’s sake!”
Ms. González also invoked the foremothers of United Methodist Women, who met to give their first gift to mission. “We are here today because the Lord called those women gathered in 1869 to action. In response to the … needs of women, they started saving their pennies and all too soon, two missionaries were on their way to do the work needed in India.”
The mission work and action taken by the early founders of United Methodist Women has lived on and lives through the women at the Leadership Training Event.
“Because of the plight of females in general and the Lord touching them in such a way, their idea spread rapidly and has had a major impact around the world for women and girls,” Ms. González said.
Throughout the weekend women shared personal stories, reflected on Scripture and dialoged among each other on issues important to them. Recruiting young women was a theme among the discussion.
Two women look at books provided by the Mission Resource Center. Photo courtesy of Felipe Castillo.
On the closing day, Women’s Division Deputy General Secretary Harriett Jane Olson made closing remarks as a sending forth of women to fulfill the Purpose of United Methodist Women.
“Day by day women in the past have gone forth committed to the mission of United Methodist Women,” she said. “We, now, are that story. As leadership in this organization may we go forth committed to a unity of mind and heart that powerfully is the mission of United Methodist Women.”
Evoking the Christian duty to love all, Ms. Olson concluded, “May the Lord add to our number those who are part of United Methodist Women in mission, telling this story, singing this song of God’s redeeming love to all persons, everywhere, no matter what.”